Shooting at Pentagon; Gunman Killed

Luckily he didn't manage to kill anyone:
A California man killed in a shootout with Pentagon police drove cross-country and arrived at the military headquarters' subway entrance armed with two semiautomatic weapons, authorities said Friday. The shooter apparently left behind Internet postings resentful of the government and airing suspicions about the 9/11 attacks.

John Patrick Bedell, 36, of Hollister, Calif., was named as the gunman in the Thursday evening attack. Authorities said he'd had previous run-ins with the law.

Investigators have found no immediate connection to terrorism, and the attack that superficially wounded two police officers at the massive Defense Department headquarters appears to be a case of "a single individual who had issues," Richard Keevill, chief of Pentagon police, said in an early morning press conference Friday.

Keevill described Bedell as "very well-educated" and well-dressed, saying Bedell was wearing a suit when he showed up at the secure Pentagon entrance about 6:40 p.m. and blended in with workers. He was concealing two 9 millimeter semiautomatic weapons and "many magazines" of ammunition.

When Bedell seemed to reach into his pocket for worker identification, he instead pulled out a gun, Keevill said.

"He just reached in his pocket, pulled out a gun and started shooting" at point-blank range, Keevill said. "He walked up very cool. He had no real emotion on his face."

Bedell died Thursday night from head wounds received when the two injured officers and another officer returned fire, Keevill said.

The exchange of fire at the subway entrance in Arlington, Va., lasted less than a minute but numerous shots were fired, Keevill said, adding that investigators were "still counting." Bedell was not wearing body armor, he added.

The two officers injured have been released from the hospital. One suffered a thigh wound and the other was hit in the shoulder. Keevill said both were superficial injuries.

Keevill said he did not know what motivated the shooting: "I have no idea what his intentions were."
Online postings made by someone with a similar name to the shooter, which have not yet been confirmed to be the same person, were about 9/11 conspiracy theories and Marine Col. James Sabow, who was found dead in the backyard of his California home in 1991 and his death ruled a suicide, though "Sabow's family has maintained that he was murdered because he was about to expose covert military operations in Central America involving drug smuggling."

It quite genuinely does appear like Bedell was acting on his own. We'll have, nationally, the "terrorism?" debate again, but, at a certain point, trying to discern whether X number of lone gunmen (or kamikaze pilots, or whatever) is just going to be a way to avoid talking about the fact that extremist groups have grown 244% in the last year and we're in the middle of scary-ass backlash.

This shit doesn't happen in a void.

UPDATE: Think Progress has more. Thanks to Spudsy for sending that along.

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